U.S, Germany reach agreement on controversial Russian gas pipeline.

Written by on July 22, 2021

The United States and Germany have reached a deal that will allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further US sanctions, a senior US official said Wednesday.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told Congress that the two governments would shortly announce details of the pact that is intended to address US and eastern and central European concerns about the impact of the Nord Stream 2 project.

However, there is strong bipartisan opposition to the pipeline in Congress as well as in Ukraine and Poland, which fear Nord Stream 2 will undermine European energy security. Like the Trump administration before it, the Biden administration also opposes the pipeline but it insists that sanctions won’t stop it.

Nuland, the third-ranking US diplomat, told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that the US and Germany would release a joint statement later Wednesday regarding the pipeline. She said Washington and Berlin had committed to imposing sanctions on Russia and German companies should Moscow use the pipeline as a political weapon.

Nuland did not elaborate, although congressional aides briefed on the outlines of the deal said Tuesday it would allow the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without either Germany or Russia facing new US sanctions. In return, the US and Germany will make certain concessions to Ukraine and Poland, they said.

Nuland categorically denied reports that Ukraine had been warned against publicly complaining about the agreement and noted that State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet was visiting both Kyiv and Warsaw this week to inform them of the deal. Also Wednesday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden would welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House on August 31.

Under the terms of the expected US-Germany agreement, Ukraine would get $50m in green energy technology credits, a guarantee of repayment for gas transit fees it will lose by being bypassed by the pipeline through 2024, and a pledge from both Germany and the US that sanctions will be revisited should Russia use the gas as a political weapon, according to the congressional aides.

Credit: Aljazeera


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